It turns out that I have been to several of the 45th Parallel places. I did not know that...or if I did have long since forgotten. The picture below is Mandy climbing the stairs into the light area. It was a feat. It was like climbing a ladder. I chickened out on the next to the last round. I hate ladders.+
As you can see, Kat and Mary made it all the way to the top. They were quite pleased with themselves. The view from the top they said was breathtaking. I will have to take their word for it.
Going up we thought this barn was pretty neat. Several of the barns we passed on this road had quilt squares on the outside. We never did find out why but it was pretty impressive. The land in the area headed up to the lighthouse was farm land. On the right side of the road, as far as you could see were cherry orchards, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, hops, and grapes. There was a winery and plenty of little fruit stands begging you to stop and sample their wares. We did just that at one of the bigger cherry farms.
The bright red cherries that look like Maraschino tasted like plums. The dark red cherries were the sweetest things and we devoured a carton that we bought from two young men on the side of the road. Eric, the lighthouse keeper, told us that they were earning money for school....We bought it...hook line and sinker and bought our first ones from them. They were delish! Funny thing...when you see the bazillion signs along the road advertising cherries...when it advertises the dark red ones...it always said, "Washed sweet cherries." If they had the other two - plum like and sour...the signs just said, "cherries."
After the cherry/lighthouse adventure and with one more barn picture(rainbow roof below)maybe
a couple more odd ones we headed to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Mary, Mandy, and Kat were all planning to climb it. I was going to take photos. It was too hot for me and not going to happen. I had seen all the pictures of people falling down the thing and I was not game for that at all.
This was just one level of the dune. Mary gave up about half way up this section and sported off to take pictures of nature in the area. I visited with some teachers there with students and some fellow tourists. After the dunes we headed back to Traverse City to hit a winery, the Cherry Republic, the Pie Factory for lunch, and an Exotic Chocolate place we had seen earlier. On our way back into town we passed a lilly farm and stopped to see what they had to offer. This farm had been running for 100 years and the flowers were the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life and there were acres and acres of them. It was funny...we all took pictures of flowers....but only a few were doubles. I guess we all have different tastes. If we could have gotten them home...we probably would have bought some....but we did get brochures and may order some later. It was really not the time to plant them. While you are there....the owners encourage you to tour their beautiful gardens around their house. The shade, the fragrance, and the foliage were so pleasant that we all truly hated to leave....until our stomachs started growling loudly at us.
We ate lunch first at the Pie Factory and not only was their soup and sandwiches good....their pie was to die for. Mary bought us a triple berry one and it was slap yo' momma good. I had a Harvest Chicken salad sandwich....it was good...not the best I have ever had...but good. We then went to the Chocolate place where Kat and Mandy each bought a piece of decadent chocolate. They had chocolate crowns filled with Crown Royale syrup. This place is the kind of place you go if you are a bride and planning to give your guests something unusual as a remembrance of your wedding. After the Chocolate place, Mandy found a store that had humongous marshmellows. Of course, you can tell we are from the south....we took pictures of them. We then headed to downtown and the Cherry Republic where we went on a shopping frenzy and the girls stood in cherry pits up to their ankles. Ouch!
Doesn't this look painful. It did to me. After we left Traverse City we headed for Mackinaw City/Sault Ste. Marie and Ontario, Canada. This was a long day and we packed a ton of sites into our waking hours. I decided not to overload you with too much. Tomorrow I will do Day 3 P.M. Traverse to Mackinaw City. I hope you are enjoying this and if you ever get a chance to go to Michigan...make sure you stop in Traverse City. It is definitely on my list of to returns to places.